Did you know that more than 50 percent of website traffic comes from organic search? With search driving such a large percentage of traffic, businesses need to take steps to help their sites rank well in search results, which is precisely what search engine optimization (SEO) does. You might want to use different kinds of SEO, depending on your company’s needs.
What are the different types of SEO techniques? In this post, we’ll go through the main types of SEO and when you might want to use each one. If you’d prefer to learn via a video, check out the one we’ve embedded below.
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What is SEO?
SEO is a set of strategies used to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a website from organic search results. SEO strategies help websites rank well in search results for relevant keywords.
Below, for example, are some of the top results for the search “where to buy hiking boots.” If your business sells hiking boots, you might optimize your site to help it show up on this search engine results page (SERP).
What are the different types of SEO?
SEO consists of a wide variety of tactics, and there are several different types of SEO strategies. These types include:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
- Enterprise SEO
Let’s look at these different types of SEO strategies!
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO is one of the main types of SEO. It refers to optimizing elements on your website that you can control directly. You should employ on-page SEO techniques on your website if you want your site to appear in relevant search results.
Some of the elements of your website you can optimize as part of on-page SEO include:
- URLs: Each page’s web address should briefly describe its content and include a relevant keyword.
- Title tags: Your titles should be descriptive and contain keywords. In addition, they should entice readers to click on your articles.
- Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions describe the content of your page in around 160 characters or less and appear below your title in search results.
- Alt tags: Alt tags describe the contents of your images so that users and search engines can understand them better.
- Heading tags: Heading tags separate your content into sections and are an excellent place to insert related keywords.
- Internal links: Connecting the pages on your site with links helps users and search engines find them. It also helps you improve the authoritativeness of new pages, boosting their rankings.
- Content: The content on your site should be relevant and helpful to your audience. It should also contain relevant keywords and other features, such as multimedia elements.
- Navigation: Your site should be easy to navigate so that users can find what they need and want to stay on your site. If visitors often leave your site shortly after arriving, your rankings may suffer.
- Design: An unprofessional or unappealing design can cause users to leave your website, hurting your rankings. You need a clean, modern, and professional design to keep leads engaged and improve rankings.
Some examples of on-page SEO techniques include:
- Creating content that appeals to your customers’ interests and includes relevant keywords
- Including keywords in elements such as your URLs, title tags, and heading tags
- Simplifying your site navigation to make it more user-friendly
- Improving your website’s design so that your site is more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use
2. Off-page SEO
In addition to on-page SEO, your site also needs off-page SEO. This type of SEO includes factors outside of your website that you don’t control directly. The most notable off-page SEO tactic is earning backlinks.
Backlinks are links to your site from other websites. Google uses the quantity and quality of links to your site to determine its reputability and relevancy, which impacts search result rankings. Backlinks also help Google find pages on your site, crawl, and index them.
There are three main types of links to consider:
- Natural links: When other sites find your content on their own and link to it, you gain a natural link.
- Built links: You gain built links when you promote your content to someone and they then link to it.
- Created links: Created links are ones that you place on other pages, such as directories or press releases, yourself. This strategy isn’t recommended, as search engines may consider it spammy.
So, off-page SEO focuses on increasing the quantity and quality of natural and built links to your site. Some off-page SEO techniques include:
- Creating highly linkable content, such as guides and infographics
- Reaching out to bloggers and suggesting they link to your content in a post
- Sharing your content on social media to help it gain traction
3. Technical SEO
Technical SEO focuses on backend website and server optimizations that help your site rank better in search engines. It often focuses on helping search engines crawl and understand your website, but it also improves user experience. Technical SEO is another type of SEO that every website needs.
It ensures that search engines index your site and helps you make the most of your on-page and off-page SEO. Some examples of technical SEO improvements include:
- Speeding up your site: Google uses page speed as a ranking factor, and a faster page provides a better user experience. Improving your page speed may include techniques such as cleaning up your code, compressing your images, and using browser caching.
- Updating your robots.txt file: Your txt file tells search engine crawlers which parts of your site not to crawl and index. Making sure your robots.txt file is blocking the right pages is essential.
- Creating an XML sitemap: An XML sitemap helps search engines crawl your site more quickly and create accurate indexes of your site.
- Dealing with duplicate content: Having duplicate content on your site can hurt your rankings. A canonical tag (rel=canonical) tells Google which version of a page is the original, and a 301 redirect lets you direct traffic from one URL to another.
- Using responsive design: Responsive design ensures that your site displays correctly on mobile devices by enabling it to adjust to various devices.
4. Local SEO
Local SEO strategies focus on searches that relate to specific locations, especially the searcher’s local area. They help your business rank well for searches that contain phrases such as “near me” and searches including the names of cities, regions, or other areas. For example, if you run a pizza shop, local SEO can help you show up in local 3-packs on Google search results pages.
Here’s an example of a local 3-pack for the search “pizza shops near me.”
Different kinds of businesses need different types of SEO services. Local SEO is essential for any business with a physical location and local presence, especially considering that 46% of Google searches are for local businesses, and 80% of local searches convert. Some examples of local SEO techniques include:
- Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, which includes ensuring your information is up to date, adding photos, and writing an introduction.
- Creating content related to your local area and including location-specific keywords in your content.
- Encouraging customers to review your business online and responding to posted reviews.
5. Enterprise SEO
Enterprise SEO shares many goals and techniques with traditional SEO but is tailored to the needs of especially large websites. What is SEO like for large websites? The main difference between standard and enterprise SEO is that enterprise SEO focuses on short-tail, high-competition keywords.
Short-tail keywords are typically only one or two words long and more generic than long-tail keywords. For example, “affordable Windows business laptop” is a long-tail keyword, while “laptop” is a short-tail keyword. “Laptop” has a much higher search volume and is harder to rank for than “affordable Windows business laptop” due to increased competition.
Smaller sites typically go after long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for and target. However, once you rank for a significant amount of them, the best way to improve your SEO and grow your site is to go after highly competitive short-tail keywords. While enterprise SEO uses many of the same strategies as traditional SEO, some enterprise-specific tactics are:
- Creating content that targets short-tail, high-competition keywords relevant to your industry and goals
- Using highly competitive keywords across your site
Learn more about SEO with WebFX
To increase your visibility and drive leads online, your business needs to use the right types of SEO strategies. Every website needs on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. Depending on your business’s characteristics, you might also want to focus on local or enterprise SEO.
At WebFX, we offer many different types of SEO services, including all of those listed in this post. We have more than 20 years of experience, and our digital marketing strategies have driven more than 6.3 million leads for our clients over the last five years. To learn more about our SEO services, contact us today or call us at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist!